World Cup last-16 (FT) - France 3 Poland 1

Kylian Mbappé masterclass sends France through to the quarter-finals



- Goal - Olivier Giroud (44 mins) France 1 Poland 0

- Goal - Kylian Mbappé (74 mins) France 2 Poland 0

- Goal - Kylian Mbappé (90 mins) France 3 Poland 0

- Goal - Robert Lewandowski (90+8 mins) France 3 Poland 1


Here is a snap report of the action. Stay tuned for a full report and analysis to come.


He won’t get the plaudits due to Mbappé's ridiculous display, but Giroud was a perfect foil as ever for both Mbappé and Dembele on the outside. They really are a formidable trio.


Before all that, it was the goal that took Giroud to the top of France’s goal-scoring charts. Mbappé was the provider this time, accelerating play nicely with a through ball before Giroud rifled home on the turn.


France’s second and Mbappé's first, the one that killed the game off, was a scintillating counter that showed the best of the front three. Giroud’s hold-up play, Dembele’s ability to cut in off his wing and Mbappé's finish - too good.


Before that was Mbappé's second. Thuram finds him in the box, and the touch to open up his body is sensational from the PSG man. Then that finish, pick that out!


Let’s run through the goals, in reverse order. Here is Lewandowski’s penalty, a fitting end given it was likely his last act in World Cup play.


Much better from France in the second half. Their front three of Giroud, Mbappé and Dembele worked well while Griezmann pulled the strings behind the scenes in midfield. Mbappé has probably played better actually, but his two finishes that both thundered into the back of the net were simply stunning. His goal-scoring record at World Cups continue to amaze.

France by no means look unbeatable, however. There are frailties at the back. A strong striker can cause issues with those two centre-backs, Lewandowski did once or twice despite looking off the pace, while Poland caused problems for both full-backs with pressure down the flank.

Still, so long as the French attack is firing as it did today they will be tough to beat.


Full-time: France 3 Poland 1


90+9 mins: Lewandowski stutters again but this time sends Lloris the wrong way, rolling it into the left corner. That’s the last act of this one as France progress with ease.




90+8 mins: HE’S MISSED! A stutter doesn’t fool Lloris as he saves a timid penalty. NO WAIT! He’ll get a second chance, Lloris came off his line early. What a bizarre finish this is.


PENALTY GIVEN! Lewandowski can finish from the spot here in what could be his last World Cup action...


90+6 mins: Poland could well finish with a flurish. VAR is being called to check for a handball from Upamecano. Lewandowski could well finish this World Cup with a penalty...


90+3 mins: CLOSE! Milik has hit the post with a bicycle kick. It wouldn’t have counted, he was offside from Lewandowski’s header across the box but what an effort.



90 mins: He’s done it again! Mbappé's fifth goal of the tournament is another stunner. Thuram looks to be innocuously killing time in the corner before shifting inside to find Mbappé. There isn’t a great angle for the shot but the ball transfer onto his right is rapid, opening his body up before rifling past Szczesny into the top corner. Ridiculous.




88 mins: Poland do get a chance to put a ball into the box with a free-kick but there’s no one near it as Rabiot clears easily. Cash who has had a torrid day dealing with Mbappé sees yellow this time for taking out Thuram on the counter.


Frankowski and Kiwior are off as Bednarek and Grosicki get a run out for Poland.


85 mins: France continue to stream forward, dominating possession as Poland look completely devoid of the ability to come back into this one. Coman whips in a cross looking for the run but it’s just over the head of Thuram.


82 mins: Mbappé is the creator this time as he slips Hernandez into space inside the box. He can only blaze over.


What a break from France, their attacking trio working in perfect sync: Giroud holding the ball up before linking with Dembele, he draws in the defence by cutting inside, leaving Mbappé with plenty of space to rifle his effort home.


You just can’t give that man an inch.


That goal was Dembele and Giroud’s last involvement, Thuram and Coman on in their stead.


75 mins: It’s that man again, surely Mbappé has just sent France into the quarter-finals. The play actually starts with France looking nervous as Griezmann of all people has to retreat into the box to rob Lewandowksi of a chance. The ball is cleared long, Giroud controls brilliantly to set up the counter, leading to a 3 on 3. Dembele takes it down the right, draws in the defence to open up space for Mbappé who drills it past Szczesny. Emphatic.




73 mins: Zalewski’s first touch is a poor one as his pass gifts France possession. There’s a chance for Mbappé to break again but another heavy pass, this one from Upamecano, leads to a sloppy touch that lets Poland off the hook.


72 mins: Zalewski and Bielik are on for Poland, Kryochiak and Szymanski the ones to depart. Glik has a chance from a header at a free-kick but sends it well over. Just a reminder for France that they are still vulnerable while the lead remains at just one.


70 mins: Brilliant from Cash. He looks in trouble one-on-one with Mbappé with no one home for Poland but the Villa man defends well to deny France’s talisman a run in on goal.


For those wondering, this was the Giroud super strike that was earlier ruled out.


66 mins: Seems a case of when, not if, France will add a second. This time Giroud is at the end of a Kounde cross but just steers it passed the near post. France make their first change, Fofana on for Tchouameni who was booked earlier, no doubt a factor in the move with France becoming more and more comfortable in this one.


63 mins: Mbappé his hungry. He plays a one-two with Dembele before launching one with his right but it’s a poorly directed effort that flies wide. Moments later, Mbappé goes down in the box looking for a penalty but the flag is up for offside. Would have been an interesting penalty decisioln otherwise as Mbappé's run was blocked by a body.


61 mins: France keep hunting, working down the flank before opening up the chance for Mbappé at the edge of the box. Just as he was winding up, through came Szymanski to pick his pocket and save Poland.


57 mins: Giroud has just stuck a gorgeous bicycle kick into the net but the whistle had gone after Szczesny was wiped out in a collision with Varane. It was a good punch clear from the ‘keeper but he took out himself, Varane and his own man in Cash. Shame, that was some finish from Giroud.


56 mins: Another chance! Mbappé slows the ball up, draws in two defenders before dancing out to his right to fire towards the bottom corner. Szczesny is done all ends up by a deflection but, fortunately for Poland, the block takes it behind for a corner.


55 mins: More danger down the flank. This time it’s Dembele and Griezmann linking up and Cash has to steer the cross behind for a corner with Mbappé lurking at the back post. Mbappé takes the corner quickly but fails to work a chance as Poland clear.


53 mins: France are definitely building into this half now. Cash is bombing down the right as Poland hunt a goal but Mbappé and Rabiot expose him when he’s caught out of possession. Rabiot fizzes a dangerous ball into the box but Poland manage to clear.


49 mins: Poor from Dembele. Giroud’s delicate touch sends the wing haring off down the flank but a poor touch gifts Szczesny possession just as he was running in on goal.


47 mins: That’s a bit of a shocker from the ref. Bereszynski slides in on Dembele, clearly getting the ball but instead the decision is free-kick and a yellow card. From the set-piece, Griezmann fires in a cross that Szczesny has to palm away. Varane was inches away from heading that one home.


46 mins: They’re back underway in Qatar! Poland kick the second half off with their World Cup progression hanging in the balance.


Here is the goal. It’s a brilliant ball through from Mbappé, releasing it almost as soon as Upamecano finds him to pick the gap expertly for Giroud. He takes a quick touch to keep the ball out from under his feet before firing with his left into the bottom corner. It was a strike that takes Giroud past Thierry Henry as France’s leading goal-scorer.


Well, that was an intriguing half to say the least. Mbappé has been a nightmare for Cash down France’s left flank, his speed and delivery causing plenty of issues; no surprises the assist for the goal was his.

Despite that, France have not been infallible at the back. Bereszynski has been a thorn in France’s side down the Polish left flank, leading to plenty of balls into the area that Varane et al have struggled to deal with. Add in Upamecano’s struggles on the ball when pressed and Poland have two very good routes to goal - were it not for a double save and block on the line they would be level. They’re definitely still in this.


Half-time: France 1 Poland 0


45 mins: Close! Poland nearly reply instantly but Kaminski’s half-volley is deflected behind for a corner. From the following set-piece, Lloris is very lucky to regather after spilling a cross. France look nervy despite the goal.


44 mins: France strike just before the break! They haven’t been at their best but a clinical strike has the World Champions in the lead. Upamecano has struggled on the ball when pressed, but here he is high up the pitch to feed the ball forward to Mbappé. He fires a quick pass between defenders to lead Grioud onto the ball, it’s a perfect through ball as Giroud can turn and fire first-time past Szczesny into the bottom corner. Brilliant.




42 mins: Szczesny is put under pressure and decides to stop messing about. He launches the ball out of play instead of risking playing through the press. Meanwhile Kounde has to stop the game to remove his necklace, the officials aren’t happy given how much it is flapping about when he runs... bizarre.


40 mins: Now Krychowiak falls foul of Mbappés speed after being beaten on the turn. He pulls the shirt, allowing Griezmann to whip in a free-kick. Krychowiak cleans up after conceding the free to head clear.


38 mins: CHANCE! Poland with the best chance so far. Bereszynski causes havoc down the left before putting the ball into the box. Szymanski smashes it straight at Lloris, a yard either side and it wouldn’t have been in, before Varane clears off the line from Zaminski. What a chance.


36 mins: That was so nearly a nasty collision between Szczesny and Upamecano. Chasing a loose ball in the box after a corner, the French defender didn’t see Szczesny and ends up making contact with his chest. Upamecano’s knee came very close to the ‘keeper’s head but everyone is ok.


34 mins: Poland continue to do plenty of the attacking here. Cash this time comes in off his right, striking an effort first time that fizzes across the face of goal. White shirts in the box weren’t far from getting a touch on that. Down the other end, Mbappé dances inside Cash with the dummy before forcing Szczesny into a save at his near post.


33 mins: Into the wall! Lewandowski looks to curl it with his right foot but can only send it straight into Lloris’ wall.


31 mins: Yellow card! First of the day goes to Tchouameni after he takes down Frankwoski on the edge of the box. Looked innocuous enough but the referee thinks he’s spotted studs raised. Free-kick in a dangerous area for Poland...


Early stats say Mbappé has received the ball 13 times - far more than anyone else - between the midfield and defence. No prizes for guessing France’s plan in attack...


29 mins: CHANCE! How have France not scored? Frankowski, in a desperate attempt to keep the ball in, ends up playing the ball straight into Dembele’s path. He links up with Griezmann, taking the return ball to fire it across the face of goal. The cross is too firm, if he put slightly less on it Giroud would have had time to stretch and poke home, but due to being at full-stretch he can only send it wide.


26 mins: Mbappé wants a foul on the counter after beating Frankowski for pace only for Bereszynski to come across and help his teammate out. Looked like there was a shirt pull in there but play goes on.


25 mins: More Poland pressure. France think the ball went out but Frankowski did well to keep it in while hooking the ball into the box. It pinballs around before Kaminski’s shot is blocked.


23 mins: Poland continue to build into this. A deflected cross fortunately reaches Lewandowski on the edge of the box. He has space to line up a shot, but unselfishly lays it off to Kaminski. The pass is too firm, closing off the angle for a cross, maybe Lewandowski should have let fly himself?


20 mins: Giroud goes to ground contesting a high ball in the box but no one seems too interested in appealing for a penalty. Rabiot’s back-heel nearly salvages a chance for Griezmann but Poland clear and all of a sudden Lewandowski has it close to the box. He lets fly but sends it well wide of a diving Lloris’ goal.


19 mins: The one weak link for France so far looks to be Upamecano on the ball. Not for the first time today, he is nearly caught in possession close to his own goal but does just enough to get the ball away. Poland’s press looks to be their only way into the game so far.


17 mins: CHANCE! That’s France’s best opportunity yet. Pressure in the middle of the park leads to Poland coughing it up with France flooding forward on the counter. Dembele saunters past two defenders before taking aim from the edge of the box, only for a tame effort to allow Szczesny an easy save.


15 mins: Giroud nearly gets on the end of a through ball but Szczesny is quick off his line to slide in and claim. He’s been busy already in the Poland net.



13 mins: SAVE! Szczesny has to dive low to his right to prevent an opener. Tchouameni was the one who let fly from the edge of the area but it was always a comfortable save to make for the former Arsenal ‘keeper.


10 mins: Mbappé is really growing into this one now. Once again, his pace is simply too much for Cash to deal with. Dembele gets a shot away from the ball in but it is blocked.


9 mins: Rabiot and Griezmann link up well with some one-touch interplay. It takes them to the edge of the Poland box but the last touch takes it away from Griezmann’s run in behind. Mbappé then takes on Cash for pace down the left, beating him easily before putting a dangerous ball in. Poland clear for a corner.


5 mins: Poland’s response to the early pressure is good. Upamecano and then Hernandez are pressurised well on the press, leading to a ball into the box which Lloris gathers easily. Poland are causing one or two early problems.


4 mins: Chance! Should Varane have done better? Griezmann’s corner finds the Manchester United man but he can’t find the target with the header.


2 mins: A poor delivery from Griezmann sends the ball flying over everyone and out for a goal-kick.


1 min: France kick things off! Giroud is the one to start things off as Lewandowski’s press quickly forces Lloris into a rushed clearance. France recover and attack through Griezmann who wins a free-kick. Early chance for a ball into the area.


Just over five minutes until kick-off. Get in touch on Twitter (@nathanrjohns) to let us know your predictions. Can Poland finally solve their lack of service up to Lewandowski? Is this another game for Mbappé to dominate? We’re about to find out.


While we wait for kick-off, here’s Ken Early’s verdict on last night’s action where Lionel Messi produced arguably the greatest display we have seen from him at a World Cup.


And here’s how the underdog Poland lines up.


The teams are in.

Unsurprisingly, Dider Deschamps has brought back plenty of his big guns who were rested for the Tunisia defeat. Kylian Mbappé is back in an attacking trio of him, Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele who, frankly, has been a revelation at this tournament after a rough run with Barcelona.


Afternoon all and welcome to another day of World Cup action! Next up it’s France vs Poland in the latest last-16 action. France are heavy favourites to progress and keep their title defence alive as Kylian Mbappé squares off with Robert Lewandowski in a marquee striker battle.

Both sides lost their last outings in the group stages but in markedly different circumstances. France rested nine players and still topped their group despite a historic defeat to Tunisia, while Poland were abject against Lionel Messi and Argentina but still had enough to progress as group runners-up.